Are you interested in using LinkedIn Groups to generate leads for your business?
By engaging in a small number of the best groups in your industry you can start to really make the most out of the time you spend on there, source loads of great content and ultimately get yourself some warm leads.
In this article I’ll explain what LinkedIn groups are, what to post to get the most engagement and how you can use your posts to generate content and leads.
“LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interest to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts and establish themselves as industry experts”
Unfortunately in a lot of cases LinkedIn Groups provide a place for spammers to shamelessly plug their content, something that changes made by LinkedIn last year made even easier.
That said there are still some great groups out there where like minded individuals have relevant, engaging and supportive conversations. A shining example is the Medical Devices Group; it has over 325,000 members, a proactive, passionate owner and quality conversations left, right and centre.
If you are completely new to LinkedIn Groups then read the next two steps to get started. These steps will show you how to quickly find and build up your rapport within groups before starting your own conversation.
The best way to find groups is to use LinkedIn’s search function which is at the top of the LinkedIn website. Use the following steps to find and join the best groups for your industry.
1. Search keywords related to your industry in the search bar e.g. ‘Medical Devices’
LinkedIn Search Bar
2. Click ‘Groups’
Select ‘Groups’ to search for LinkedIn Groups related to your keywords
3. Join 5 – 10 relevant groups (try other search terms if you need to)
4. Once you have been accepted into the group see what kind of content people are posting and how much engagement each piece of content is getting.
5. Stick with groups that are engaging and non-spammy.
PRO TIP: Stick to specific rather than generalist groups
Step 2: Make a name for yourself
Get involved in other people’s conversations first, don’t just steamroller in and start expecting people to engage with you.
You need to demonstrate to the group that you’re there to engage, share your knowledge and ultimately be a valuable group member.
Once you’re ready to start your own conversations (it won’t take long) then you can use the actionable tips below to gain the best results.
5 Actionable Tips To Use LinkedIn Groups More Effectively
#1 Ask one thing
As with any other social channel, there is a LOT happening on LinkedIn. People aren’t spending all day on there so you need to get their attention quickly.
The best conversations that I have started asked people one simple, easy-to-answer question.
Like this one:
Example LinkedIn group discussion
Once you start getting lots of responses you can ask individual contributors to expand on what they have said, usually this starts happening organically anyway and the conversations evolve on their own.
PRO TIP: Ask people to describe something in ONE word – it really gets them going and is the ultimate example of making something easy to engage with.
I started a discussion a while back asking a scientific group ‘in ONE word, what is your lab missing’ and got over 100 comments. Someone even started an alternative discussion asking ‘in ONE word, what is the best thing about your lab’.
#2 Use the ‘reply privately’ function
Did you know that depending on a user’s settings you can message them privately straight from a group discussion?
This is a great way to start building a relationship with an individual contributor, here’s how:
When someone replies to your comment, press the little ‘…’ in the bottom right and click ‘reply privately’
LinkedIn reply privately function within a group discussion
This opens up the standard LinkedIn message area and allows you to send a private, direct message without having to send a connection request first.
#3 Create content from responses
From handy one-liners to whole Ebooks worth of insight, responses to your discussions can make for great content. Make sure people are aware of how you intend to use their responses (it might even make them more likely to get involved) and mention them by name in your article/quote/video etc.
This is something that I have noticed journalists have started doing so it must work. Here’s an example of an article created entirely out of comments on a LinkedIn discussion: 9 Ways Medical Devices Fail
PRO TIP: Once you’ve written the article, share the link back in the same discussion. There’s a good chance the contributors will share it on their social channels too, they’re part of it after all – easy amplification.
#4 Check ‘who’s viewed your profile’ regularly
If you use LinkedIn for lead gen you should be doing this already but it’s especially important when you have a LinkedIn group discussion taking off.
You will likely find that people will be interested to know more about the person that started the discussion. Here’s what happened to my page views when one of my conversations got popular:
The effect of a great LinkedIn group post on profile views
If you don’t already know, here’s how to check:
Under profile, select ‘Who’s viewed your profile’
Who’s viewed your profile function on LinkedIn
Depending on your account level you will see some information on the last 5 people that viewed your profile. If any of them look like potential leads you have an easy conversation starter. Go back to the group and use ‘reply privately’ (see points 2 above).
I usually go with something like:
“Hi X, I see that you have viewed my profile, was there anything in particular you wanted to talk about”
PRO TIP: As well as being a good opener, this also allows you to filter out time wasters. Whenever someone I don’t know sends me a connection request I accept and then send them this message. If they launch in to a sales pitch or don’t reply after a week I remove the connection.
#5 Amplify your conversation
Just like you would with a piece of content, use your LinkedIn profile and other social channels to amplify your discussion by creating a short link and posting it everywhere you can.
You may even consider contacting a few friendly industry influencers directly to see if they want to get involved.
PRO TIP: The best group owners/admins will make their members aware of trending discussions – they may have a ‘post of the week’ or ‘weekly digest’ etc. If you can get on these it’s a whole new level of amplification.
If you want to ask me anything else about LinkedIn groups, send me a connection request here (just don’t forget to reply when I message you!)
Got any more great LinkedIn tips to add? Share them in the comments below!